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A Look at the Massive Fortune John Madden Leaves Behind

The NFL legend passed away Tuesday at the age of 85.


Famed NFL coach and sports industry legend John Madden passed away on December 28 at the age of 85.

Kirby Lee/NFLPhotoLibrary
Kirby Lee/NFLPhotoLibrary

Aside from his legacy, most notably as head coach of the Oakland Raiders with whom he won seven titles and one Super Bowl in 1977, he leaves behind a massive fortune.

Madden became head coach of the Raiders at the young age of 32, making him the youngest NFL coach to ever hold such a position at the time (Sean McVay has since taken that title when he was named head coach of the Los Angeles Rams in 2017 at age 30.)

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Madden was worth a whopping $200 million upon his passing, the vast majority of which didn’t actually come from his career as an NFL coach or broadcaster but from royalties and a deal signed with EA Sports for the football video game Madden NFL Football.

Prior to the video game’s creation, Madden impressively served as a sports commentator on all four major broadcasting networks (NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX) following his retirement from coaching in 1979. He was reportedly earning up to $8 million per year at his career height.

In 1989, EA Sports launched John Madden Football which prominently featured the sports icon on the cover. The game would go on to run 40 different versions and a name change and still continues to produce iterations to this day. 

In 2005, Madden reportedly signed a $150 million deal with the gaming company that would allow his “name and likeness” to be used indefinitely — even after his passing. He is also entitled to annual royalties in compensation, which are estimated to be in the millions.

The game has since sold 130 million copies worldwide generating over $4 billion in revenue.

Madden also earned millions through endorsements, which include McDonald’s, Miller Lite, Verizon Wireless and most lucratively Tenactin, which earned him a cool $2 million in one deal alone.

"Nobody loved football more than Coach. He was football,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell mourned of Madden in a statement. “He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others. There will never be another John Madden, and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today."

Emily Rella

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Emily Rella is a news writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media, covering entertainment, pop culture, lifestyle, entrepreneuership and business. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native.